In reflecting back on 2010 at year’s end, here are what I’d call “the top 5 books I read” (in order of author’s last name):
|Gospel in Life by Tim Keller|
It’s not a typical read-it-on-your-own book, but specially designed for small-group study. Our weekly small group tackled the 8 sessions together this Fall. Each session has a “home study” (nice way of saying “homework”) and a 10-minute video lesson by Keller on the accompanying DVD. The topics are great, the content is outstanding, and the study guide is very well done.
|The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses by C. S. Lewis|
This was a re-read, but I couldn’t help mentioning it here. And it’s not just “The Weight of Glory” essay that is excellent, but also “Transposition” and “Learning in War-Time.” If you haven’t read them, let me recommend it. If you haven’t re-read them recently, let me recommend that too.
|The Trellis & the Vine by Col Marshall and Tony Payne|
|It seems 2010 was a real Trellis & Vine year for me. I read and reviewed the book in January, our elders have been working through the book together (one chapter per month) throughout the year, and our church hosted the two-day seminar in November (full notes for 6 sessions available here).|
|Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne|
I had benefited so greatly from Larry’s Sticky Church a year ago that I couldn’t wait to dive into Sticky Teams when it came off the press last Spring. Larry is an incredibly gifted leader and practitioner, especially in church organization and pastoral leadership wisdom.
|Transition Plan by Bob Russell (with Bryan Bucher)|
The Baby Boomers are aging (the first wave turn 65 in January 2011), and many evangelical churches, schools, and ministries have significant transitions and leadership successions on the near horizon. If you haven’t yet been impacted by a major leadership transition, you will soon enough! Here founding pastor Bob Russell tells about the planning and execution of his transition from leadership at the massive Southeast Christian Church. Bob is winsome and wise and plainly a selfless, caring pastor and undershepherd of Jesus.
Four More Books to Mention
I purposefully left out Piper titles from the list “Top 5 Books Read in 2010” since this is for the Desiring God blog. But I thought it might be worth a follow up to note again four very good books I gave time to reading this year.
Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
I read the book several times during the publication process, and this really is an outstanding book. One of Piper’s best.
For the Fame of God’s Name (edited by Sam Storms and Justin Taylor)
This is a Piper book in a different way—to him, rather than by him. There are some top-notch essays but some top-notch scholars/pastors—D.A. Carson, Sinclair Ferguson, Tom Schreiner, and Greg Beale, to name just a few. It’s worth the time it takes to work your way through this 500-plus-page tome.
Chapters by Doug Wilson and Marvin Olasky in With Calvin in the Theater of God
If you don’t buy the book, at least avail yourself of the pdf online for reading Wilson’s and Olasky’s chapters. And the others are good as well!
In getting ready the 25th-anniversary edition for release next month, I re-read (again!) Desiring God in early 2010. There are parts I’ve read as many as a dozen times, if not more. I’ve read through from beginning to end likely more than half a dozen times. And I continue to be impacted. Since it’s a Piper title (the Piper title?), I didn’t want to include it in the “Top 5 Books Read in 2010,” but it very well may have been the most inspiring book I read this year, even after so many readings.